Actions speak louder than words, as the old saying goes. So why does the media focus so much attention on what Wall Street says about companies, instead of what it does with them?
At one point in time, the answer was easy: We didn't know what the bankers were up to -- but no longer. Thanks to the folks at finviz.com, it's now easy to keep tabs on what stocks financial institutions are buying and selling. And thanks to the 170,000-plus lay and professional investors on Motley Fool CAPS, we've also got insight into whether or not these decisions make sense.
Here's the latest edition of Wall Street's Buy List, alongside our investors' opinions of the companies involved:
CAPS Rating (out of 5)
Kodiak Oil & Gas
Companies are selected from the "Institutional Ownership Up Last Month" list published on MSN Money after close of trading on Friday. Recent price provided by Yahoo! Finance. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.
Wall Street vs. Main Street
Up on Wall Street, the professionals think these five stocks are the greatest things since sliced bread. (And by "bread," I mean money.) They're ...
- ... blatantly ignoring UBS's warning, and buying shares of Ciena.
- ... piling on the Baidu Express Train in China.
- ... hoping Rediff.com will arrive at a similar destination in India.
- ... and taking Cramer's advice to seek oil profits in North Dakota.
I have to say, it's not often I get to mention find China, India, and North Dakota in the same column. Most curious of all, though, is the sudden surge of Street sentiment in favor of India. Judging by the value of its stock index, you wouldn't think the subcontinent was all that popular these days. To the contrary, ceaseless selling pressure has pushed the "Sensex" down nearly 15% of its value over the past three months. And yet, the fact's undeniable: India Fund is currently one of the most actively bought equities on Wall Street today. But what is it that makes this stock so popular?
The bull case for India Fund
Well first off, let's make one thing clear: India Fund is not really a "stock" at all. Rather, this Blackstone-run, close-ended mutual fund is a broad-based bet on the value of the Indian economy as a whole. (And accordingly, owns interests in some the biggest names in India, including Infosys
The reasons for this vary. Back in 2009, for example, CAPS All-Star yeraz made the early observation that India is now the "world's biggest democracy and vast source of cheap labor that is knowledgeable and speaks English." Fellow All-Star bearmyx adds that the "Indian middle class is growing."
Meanwhile, All-Star investor ContraryDude -- far from contradicting -- echoed their sentiments with the prediction that "India will outperform China over the next five years, mainly due to a much younger demographic profile."
Go east, young investor
So let's see here -- free-thinking, smart, and affluent, young workers living in a country with the world's second biggest captive market? That's not a bad start for an investment thesis, and it gets even better.
Consider: Good as India might be, India Fund actually offers a chance to "own the country" at a discount. Based on today's stock prices, India Fund sells for a 2.9% discount to its net asset value.
Time to chime in
If you, like our CAPS members, believe that India has a bright future -- and if don't want to take the risk of trying to pick individual winners and losers -- buying a basket of Indian stocks such as the India Fund seems like a good way to participate in this country's growth story. The fact that you can do this at a cheap price (relative to assets) -- well, this looks to me like an opportunity too good to let pass by.
Or is it? Sure, I'm enthused about India's prospects, and India Fund's price. But that doesn't mean you have to agree. If you know of a reason to avoid this "stock," or the country as a whole, here's your chance to warn us about it -- on Motley Fool CAPS.
Baidu is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation, but Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of, nor is he short, any company named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 707 out of more than 170,000 members. The Fool has a disclosure policy.
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